US/China Trade Agreement Updates

Posted on Jan 16

January 15, 2020

The phase-one trade deal between the US and China was signed today at the White House.A copy of the Phase One agreement can be found here.

It is expected that existing tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports are likely to stay in place until after the US presidential election, and that both sides agree that the US will review China’s progress and adherence to the terms of the agreement in 10 months before considering additional cuts on tariffs affecting $360 billion of imports from China.

Although the White House agreed to cancel a 15 percent tariff on a wide-ranging tranche of consumer goods that had been scheduled to go into effect last month (List 4B), and tariffs were lowered on $120 billion worth of Chinese goods (List 4A) from 15 percent to 7.5 percent, the deal still leaves 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports from Lists 1, 2 and 3.

It is important to note that the U.S. has agreed to reduce Section 301 List 4A tariffs from 15% to 7.5% in exactly 30 days from today on February 14th, 2020.

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January 6, 2020

President Trump to Sign Phase One Trade Deal with China on Jan. 15

President Trump said he would sign the recently negotiated phase-one trade deal with China in Washington on Jan. 15—marking a formal truce in the U.S-China trade war—and would later travel to Beijing to negotiate a broader pact.

Chinese trade officials will arrive in Washington, D.C., to sign a “phase one” trade deal with the U.S. on Jan. 13, according to a report from the South China Morning Post on Sunday.

“I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15,” the president wrote on Twitter last month. “The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!”

The partial trade deal, which was agreed to on Dec. 12, calls for Beijing to purchase $200 billion worth of U.S. products over the next two years, in addition to protecting against intellectual property theft and technology transfer.

December 20, 2019

The U.S. and China are arranging the formal signing of the first phase of a broader trade deal between the world’s two biggest economies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the nation’s chief negotiator, said he expected the 86-page agreement to be signed by him and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in early January and to take effect 30 days after the signing.

The announcement of the phase-one agreement lead to the elimination of new import taxes on Chinese products scheduled to become effective December 15 and reduces some existing ones.

It is dependent on China increasing its purchases of American farm goods and making new commitments on intellectual property, forced technology transfer and currency issues.

December 13, 2019

United States and China Reach Phase One Trade Agreement

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has officially announced that the U.S. and China have reached agreement on the Phase One trade deal. According to the USTR, “The United States and China have reached an historic and enforceable agreement on a Phase One trade deal that requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. The Phase One agreement also includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years. Importantly, the agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement. The United States has agreed to modify its Section 301 tariff actions in a significant way”.

It should be noted that the 15% additional tariff expected to begin on December 15 (List 4B) will not be imposed. List 4B can be found here (see Annex C).

Additionally, while the U.S. will maintain the 25% tariffs currently in place for products on List 1, 2, and 3, the 15% tariff currently on products on List 4A will be reduced to 7.5%. List 4A can be found here (see Annex B).

A copy of the USTR notice can be found here.

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December 12, 2019

A few days before an additional 15% US tariffs on products from China provided for in List 4B would take effect the United States and China have reportedly reached a tentative trade agreement.

In the agreement’s “Phase One” the additional 15% tariffs on List 4B items would be halted while China would agree to improvements in intellectual property regulations, opening up to foreign investment in financial markets and increasing its purchase of U.S. agricultural exports.

White House officials expect the president to formally approve the agreement this evening, we will advise further details as soon as they are know.

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